President Dalia Grybauskaitė

EU citizens will not be discriminated against

2016-02-19

Friday, February 19, Brussels – President Dalia Grybauskaitė attended an EU summit where EU leaders reached an agreement on the United Kingdom’s proposed reforms of the European Union. It is expected that, ahead of Britain’s referendum on its membership of the EU, the agreement on reforms will contribute to the UK’s decision to stay in the Community.

“A long drama of talks is over and we have a result: an agreement has been reached which will boost the EU’s competitiveness, reduce the bureaucratic burden on businesses and ensure that the citizens of Lithuania and other European countries are not discriminated against. Now the future of the United Kingdom in the EU is in the hands of the people of this country,” the President said.

Lithuania succeeded in ensuring that restrictions on in-work benefits for people working in the United Kingdom applied only to newcomers to Britain and that they did not affect those currently living in the UK. Restrictions will apply for a specific and definite period and will decrease gradually. They could be introduced only in exceptional cases after providing well-founded evidence that an increasing flow of EU citizens has a significant negative impact on a country’s social system.

Heads of European states also provided non-eurozone countries with additional guarantees that their opinion would be taken into account when discussing issues related to the future of the euro. However, greater engagement of non-eurozone countries will not give them a right to veto the adoption of decisions that are important for the eurozone.

EU leaders agreed to enhance the role of national parliaments in EU legislation. A red card system will be created to allow 55 percent of the EU’s national parliaments to stop considering legal acts in the EU Council if these acts could be implemented more effectively at the national level.

The bureaucratic burden on small and medium-sized businesses in Europe will be reduced and trade with third countries will be promoted in order to boost the EU’s competitiveness.

The agreement on reforms reached at the EU summit will come into effect only after the people of the United Kingdom take a decision to remain in the EU.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2016.02.21 10:18

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